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Diversity Incentive Fund

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) encourages faculty, staff, students and student organizations to create new opportunities that increase the understanding of, appreciation for, and advocacy of diversity issues at the intersection with our agriculture and life sciences work.

The CALS Diversity Council supports these opportunities through the Diversity Incentive Fund, through which up to $2,000 can be used to develop new, innovative and creative approaches to raise awareness, engage learners, and change behaviors about diversity and inclusion within the academic community, as well as the broader communities we serve.


Eligibility (Who can apply / be nominated)

Faculty, staff, students, and student organizations may apply. At least one member of the proposed program team must be a current faculty, staff, or student enrolled in an undergraduate…

Award Criteria

Examples of programs that may be supported include

  • Hosting lectures, symposia, presentations, and/or performances
  • Convening workshops and conferences
  • Conducting assessments and evaluations
  • Other innovative approaches for addressing diversity as conceived in the CALS Strategic Plan, Departmental Diversity Strategic Plan, and/or Virginia Tech’s Principles of Community.

Proposed activities should have specific connection to the goals of the CALS Strategic Plan and Virginia Tech’s Principles of Community

Selection Criteria (How recipients will be chosen)

A committee made up of members of the CALS Diversity Council will review the applications and make the award selections. The committee will be looking for those opportunities that are innovative, meet a documented need, well-planned, have a good chance for impact, and will engage a significant number of persons. If in the opinion of the Fund Review committee, there are no applications that effectively meet the Fund criteria, the Council reserves the right to not select a recipient.


Requests may be made for up to $2,000. The committee may choose to fund multiple awards totaling up to $2000, or to fund one award for a maximum of $2000.

The fund is not intended for the following:

  • Food
  • Entertainment expenses 
  • Stipends to university employees (including graduate students)

Submission Details (What, where, and how)

Applications are due by May 7th, 2021 at 5 pm. Selections will be announced in early-Summer 2021, so activities or initiatives should be planned for July 2021-June 2022.

Applications must be submitted electronically via Submittable. On this page, click the “Have An Account? Sign In” button. On the next page, type in your VT email and click “Sign In.” This will take you to VT login, if you are not already logged in.

If the application is approved the proposal may be posted on the Diversity Council website. A final report of the funded effort is required and it may also appear on the Diversity Council’s website. This report is due no later than three months after completion of the funded activity. The final report should address:

  1. A narrative of what occurred, with specific descriptions of any parts of the proposed work that were modified. If possible, include pictures or other audio/visual materials. 
  2. Attendance/engagement data
  3. Summary of funds spent in comparison with proposed budget

The questions you will need to answer as part of your application include:

Applicant(s). At least one member of the proposed team needs to be affiliated with the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and LIfe Sciences; this includes VCE faculty/staff affiliated with VT CALS.

  • Name, organization (college/department/unit/recognized student organization), role/title within organization, and contact information (phone number and email) of primary contact
  • If a student organization, is it registered?
  • Additional collaborators, if any. For each, include their name, organization (college/department/unit/recognized student organization/community organization), their role/title within that organization, and their contact information (phone number and email)


  • What is the name of your event/program? 
  • What is the specific need you will address? When possible, provide data to show this need exists.
  • Please describe your event/program. What will you do? What is the timeline? Keep in mind that funds through this award will be available for the following fiscal year. If applicable, describe how the proposed work is connected to or otherwise expands upon current efforts/programs.
  • What is/are the goal(s) of the event/program?
  • Who is the target audience? If possible, please estimate the number of people who will engage with the event/program.
  • Please upload any figures, tables, and/or images which support your application.


  • Anticipated expenses funded through this award (itemize and briefly explain how you determined this cost and why it is necessary for the success of your event/program).


  • What impact do you expect the proposed work will have on participants?
  • How do you expect the proposed will make progress towards VT and CALS Strategic Plan goals. If possible, list specific values and/or goals.

Contact Information

Erin Ling, CALS Diversity Council Chair. 540-231-9058,
Karen Barnhart, CALS Diversity Council Recording Secretary. 540-231-5659,

Chevon Thorpe, Ph.D., Assistant Dean of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity, (540) 232-8702,


Erin Ling
Chair, Diversity Council
1230 Washington St. SW
HABB1 302F

Vice Chair, Diversity Council

Karen Barnhart
Recording Secretary, Diversity Council

Chevon N. Thorpe
Assistant Dean of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity
1350 Litton-Reaves Hall, Virginia Tech
175 West Campus Drive
(540) 232-8702